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The Olympic Spirit of Quality Management Systems

Olympic QMS

Like many of you out there, I am completely engaged in this year's Winter Olympics.  The sheer magnitude of the event, the human drama, and the spirit of competition is fantastic, and make for great television.  However, I can't help thinking about the operation itself, and how they are able to maintain operations, logistics, and planning in all the chaos (I can't even manage my own household).  Recently, the Sochi Laboratory that handles drug testing for the Olympics was provisionally suspended for poor Quality Management procedures.  This further emphasizes the importance of Quality Management beyond a purely organizational context.  Quality Management is critical in this sense and many others in order to ensure the thousands of athletes (i.e. the product) are managed and risks are mitigated.  So, what would an Olympic-caliber Quality Management System (QMS) look like?

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Where no Blog has gone Before: Star Trek’s Quality Management System, Part 1

qms spock

I am by no means a “Trekkie.”  I don’t go to conventions, nor do I have all the episodes memorized and cataloged.  I don’t even try and weigh in on Picard versus Kirk (although I do have some valid points in that debate – another time).  What I do know is that no matter how much I try, I cannot seem to ignore the Quality Management side to my life, and while watching an episode of Star Trek the other day, I got to thinking about what type of QMS the USS Enterprise had during their prodigious “trek” through the stars.

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A Quality Management Look into Santa's Workshop, Part 2

Santa's Design Risk

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the shop

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What Star Wars Can Learn from Quality Management Software

Star Wars and Quality Management

Anyone who knows me knows I am a Star Wars geek. I spend way more time than I care to admit obsessing about the Star Wars films, collecting random star wars toys, and musing about the “what ifs” in the Star Wars universe. The other day, it occurred to me, “What if The Empire had implemented a Quality Management System on the Death Star?” So I thought a bit on this, and here’s what I think might have helped The Empire in their endeavor to rule the galaxy if they only had put Quality Management as a strategic initiative.

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Recall Management: A QMS Match Made in Heaven!

Check this out...been working on a few ideas on the concept of Recall Management. something to the tune of 45% of all recalls are medical device and 50% of all other recalls are food-related. That's a whopping 95% (if my math is correct). What I've learned is that recall management is that there is a lot of activities involved to execute a successful recall - dear doctor letters, product traceability, press releases, destruction of product, and it all has to be done within 30 days.

QMS is a prime environment for handling recalls. usually the QA and RA folks are the ones who are tasked with not only executing on recalls, but also running "mock" or desktop recalls to prove the efficiency of their recall process. furthermore, many device manufacturers have a retrieval process whereby they retrieve product for marketing/repackagin purposes.

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